Where to from here?: Akureyri to Dalvik and beyond, then back to Dalvik. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

July 28, 2013

Where to from here?: Akureyri to Dalvik and beyond, then back to Dalvik.

Been thinking of the route onwards and ruled out a long ride south west towards Reykjavik, then across the bottom, to eventually cycle up the ring road in the south-south east. The way I want to continue, is do a circuit of the peninsular to the west of Eyjafjordur where I'm now in Akureyri. Then pass back through Akureyri, around the fjord to Grenavik on the other side. That part of the ring road and a little further on will be the only repeating of the same road, albeit in the opposite direction, so the view is different. Then pass around lake Myvatn on the southern side, the nicer side like the Icelanders said. Thence to Askja via the road F88. The ranger at the info centre in Myvatn said that due to the warm weather, the river Jokulsa a Fjollum had swollen and flowed over this road causing damage, but I it should be possible to push the bike around. And the road F910 coming up from the middle of Iceland, approaching Askja from the south west is supposedly still closed due to late snow. The F910 onwards east will be find and I can hopefully continue on it down to Snaefell. Time will tell. The Icelandic Highlands are a wonderful wilderness, but travel there should always be approached with caution.

The turnoff for Dalvik.
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It was a murky mid morning ride north out of Akureyri. It had been raining and it looked like there would be more rain on the way. I'd a bit of a headwind and I had to listen to that annoying creak that a so called maintenance-free bottom-bracket makes when under load-uphill or into the wind.

Ten kilometres north of the city, I turned right for Dalvik onto a road which swept down across the valley, then up the other side and was pretty much up and down in long stretches the rest of the way well inland from the western shore of Eyjafjordur. And the wind increased too. I could see shafts of rain on the opposite side of the fjord and soon fog rolled in and I rode into a patch of rain. Thankfully, the rain was light and only lasted twenty minutes, but it felt cold and damp in the fog. I stopped to put more pressure in the rear tyre and had to put my hands in my pockets to warm them before I could do anything. I was anxious that my pump would be able to top up the tyre to rock hard. It just about managed with a lot of strokes.

Approaching Dalvik.
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The sun came out briefly as I approached Dalvik, at last, after three hours riding forty-four kilometres. Sunday afternoon and there was nothing much going on. There was the smell of rotten fish from the harbour, and I saw the ferry for Grimsey.

Onwards, I was riding towards the first of two tunnels and the road was now high up above the edge of the fjord with streams tumbling down the mountainside and cascading into the sea at one place. As I approached the tunnel, I saw the old road climb up and pass round the mountain further up, so thought it would be better to ride that than pass through the tunnel. Apart from a few loose stones there was still a good surface, but it was a steep climb up. Soon, I'd climbed high enough to look down on the fog rolling in again and fill the fjord. This view kind of made the whole day worthwhile. And when I came to where the road had been taken in a landslide and there was no safe way around, Is happy to turn back. I decided once I'd spent some time taking photos, to return to Dalvik where I passed a campsite. I could've camped wild, but at between one thousand and thirteen hundred in Icelandic money (five sixty to seven fifty stirling), the campsites in Iceland are good value for money. And of course you get to meet others. My neighbours had an unusual orange tunnel tent; and when the couple returned, told me they were Ivan and Elena from Russia. They also said that they'd come up from the south of Iceland where it's raining every day.

Looking down upon the fog, the new road and the tunnel mouth.
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STOP! No way pass.
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It was a fair climb, now I had to ride down.
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View on the way down.
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Returning to Dalvik.
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Icelandic coffee from thermos, refills free: isk250 (£1.40).

Municipal campsite: isk1200 (£6.70).

Today's ride: 64 km (40 miles)
Total: 3,311 km (2,056 miles)

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